Guide to NordVPN for Steam Deck via Tunnel Deck

Guide to NordVPN for Steam Deck via Tunnel Deck

The Steam Deck by Valve is a powerful handheld gaming device that brings your Steam games to a portable format. With it, you can enjoy your favorite titles wherever you go. To enhance your gaming experience, you might want to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), like NordVPN. A VPN allows you to mask your internet connection, protect your privacy, and potentially access geographically restricted content. However, it’s important to note that using a VPN with Steam is against their terms of service. Use at your own risk!

TunnelDeck is a convenient plugin for Decky, Steam Deck’s interface, that enables you to connect to any OpenVPN or WireGuard connections via the Network Manager. This tutorial guides you through setting up NordVPN using TunnelDeck.

Setting Up TunnelDeck

TunnelDeck comes with an option to install the OpenVPN package for Network Manager as a system extension, which keeps your file system read-only and doesn’t require the configuration of pacman.

Available Settings in TunnelDeck

  • Enable OpenVPN: This installs the Network Manager OpenVPN plugin.
  • Disable IPV6: This disables IPV6 traffic on the current network connection (e.g., WLAN), which some VPNs that do not fully support IPV6 might require.

To connect to a VPN using TunnelDeck, it needs to be set up in desktop mode, typically with a .conf or .ovpn file provided by your VPN provider, NordVPN in this case.

Creating or Importing a NordVPN Connection

To set up your NordVPN connection, you’ll need to be in desktop mode. Follow these steps:

  1. Open System Settings and select Connections in the Network section from the sidebar.
  2. To create a new VPN connection, click the + button and scroll down to the Other section.
  3. Select the Import VPN connection... option and select the .conf or .ovpn file provided by NordVPN.
  4. Some VPN connections, like NordVPN, require a username and password. Enter these in the VPN tab of the newly created connection.
  5. Ensure the Store password for all users (not encrypted) option is selected as TunnelDeck establishes the VPN connection as the root user.
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With these steps, you’ve successfully created and saved a VPN connection in Desktop Mode.

Connecting to a NordVPN via Deck

Once you’ve set up the VPN connection in Desktop Mode, you can easily use it in Gaming Mode with TunnelDeck. Here’s how:

  1. Open the quick access menu by clicking on the ... on your Steam Deck.
  2. Select TunnelDeck from the Decky Plugins panel.
  3. Here you’ll be able to see all of the connections you have in Network Manager. Simply click on the toggle next to your NordVPN connection to connect or disconnect.

⚠️ Disclaimer ⚠️ Using a VPN to access Steam is against their terms of service, and the developers of TunnelDeck take no responsibility for any action Valve may take against your account. It’s recommended to avoid purchasing games while connected to the VPN as this could lead to issues. If you remain connected to their servers while using a VPN, you may be logged out from Steam and will need to log back in.

TunnelDeck simplifies the process of connecting to a VPN on your Steam Deck. If you have any questions or issues, you can reach the developers on the SteamDeckHomebrew Discord.

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